In the summer of 1960, two young men joined the ranks of the United States Naval Academy. Four years later they would both graduate and become naval pilots carrying out missions off aircraft carriers in Southeast Asia. Eventually, a week apart, each would be shot down over North Vietnam and each spend the next 5 1/2 years tortured, isolated and imprisoned as prisoners of war.
In 1967, Naval pilot Captain Charlie Plumb, graduate of the US Naval Academy Class of 1964, climbed into the cockpit of his F4 Phantom onboard the aircraft carrier USS Kittyhawk. He had flown 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam and was five days from returning home to the United States, to his new wife he had just married before deployment. This was to be his last mission.